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Iskaral Pust

Football: the winter break

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He was completely useless for 92 minutes before he scored though. He did eventually get a goal, but we struggled hugely all game due to poor performances like his. And there are plenty of other players who can work hard.

We were shit today, very lucky to get away with that.

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Ridiculous ending there but at least we won.  With Milner sent off and Fabinho injured, we had a three man defense shielded by Henderson and Lallana plus our front four.  Not a huge surprise that we conceded another but very, very glad it didn’t cost us points. 

Mane got the winner but missed an easy chance and was poor again.  Keita is struggling badly. 

We have ten days before our next game.  We need to hope Fabinho, Gini and TAA all recover from injuries.  And Gomez too soon.

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Such a pity we couldn't grab some GD here. Because of that, we might not keep our current 5th spot, considering Arsenal have a better GD than us.

Anyway, this was our worst half under Ole. While we did have a few big chances against Spurs in 2nd half, today it seems we were inviting Brighton to get an equalizer in 2nd half. Fortunately Lindelof & Jones are on a good run of form.

Also, it's terrifying how we always play on left hand-side. It was especially a problem today, with right-footed Dalot playing at RB and having a crappy performance.

(come on Arsenal)

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Another good performance by United for the first 60 or so minutes. After that it seemed like we ran out of steam which has happened in nearly every game under Solskjaer. I guess the fitness levels are not what they should be which is not so surprising given that our football has been slow and static for 5-and-a-half season as well as being consistently among the bottom 2 or 3 sides in terms of distance covered. 

 

5 minutes ago, Ser Glendon Fireball said:

 Fortunately Lindelof & Jones are on a good run of form.

Also, it's terrifying how we always play on left hand-side. It was especially a problem today, with right-footed Dalot playing at RB and having a crappy performance.

The bolded actually surprises me. You and I have completely different takes on this. Firstly, Dalot played at LB and had a good game (even provided an assist). Young, otoh, was 100% rubbish. Lindelof was solid but Jones was Jones, which is to say he looked like Bambi on ice - the bloke is a total liability. The moment Smalling is fit again, he needs to be brought in for Jones.

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Necessary win to keep Arsenal's season alive. Injury to Bellerin is a downer though. 

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Arsenal played a good game. Chelsea were sluggish and even in the 2nd half, they didn't create much. The goals have really dried up for them. Higuain might help but they better hope that his recent struggles are just a temporary loss of form rather than a permanent decline - in the league, he only managed 3 goals and 4 assists in his last 15 games for Juve and 6 goals + 1 assist for Milan in 15 games this season. He hasn't been effective in build up and link up play either. 

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I didn't see the match but 2-0 is a great result.

Good to see Koscielny back as well. Obviously he scored a goal but by all reports he had a good game defensively too. If we can get Koscielny back into the centre of defence and playing well, that will be a big boost. It's not surprising our defence has been even leakier than usual while he's been out long term injured.

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I know Ramsey wanted a lot of money, but it's going to be a real shame to see him leave the club. He clearly wanted to stay, and even now, when he's got no incentive to do well for us, he's playing really well and has been giving everything for the team. It's no secret that I like him, but he's been so good for us down the years. Sigh. Imma be sad at the end of the season :( - losing him and Ozil is going to be unfortunate. 

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15 hours ago, Consigliere said:

The bolded actually surprises me. You and I have completely different takes on this. Firstly, Dalot played at LB and had a good game (even provided an assist). Young, otoh, was 100% rubbish. Lindelof was solid but Jones was Jones, which is to say he looked like Bambi on ice - the bloke is a total liability. The moment Smalling is fit again, he needs to be brought in for Jones.

He did provide an assist, but at some point I had the feeling that almost every ball that came on his side of the pitch was lost in a few seconds. Dude missed a lot of passes, albeit it wasn't crucial losses because we often managed to recover quickly the ball by high press (1st half especially).

I actually don't blame him, a RB does not simply play at LB. A pity we don't have a back-up for LB, I hope there is nothing ill for Shaw at the moment.

As for Jones, I agree that he's not our new Vidic. In his recent games, he hasn't shown himself guilty of big mistakes though. Which doesn't make him a great CB, surely. Damn, our CB situation may be horrific for us to actually hope for a Smalling return.

PS: I have to sustain, Sarri is a wank. And I'm gonna state it as long he's unable to update his tactics.

Edited by Ser Glendon Fireball

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1 hour ago, Ser Glendon Fireball said:

He did provide an assist, but at some point I had the feeling that almost every ball that came on his side of the pitch was lost in a few seconds. Dude missed a lot of passes, albeit it wasn't crucial losses because we often managed to recover quickly the ball by high press (1st half especially).

I actually don't blame him, a RB does not simply play at LB. A pity we don't have a back-up for LB, I hope there is nothing ill for Shaw at the moment.

As for Jones, I agree that he's not our new Vidic. In his recent games, he hasn't shown himself guilty of big mistakes though. Which doesn't make him a great CB, surely. Damn, our CB situation may be horrific for us to actually hope for a Smalling return.

Dalot is fully capable of playing both fullback positions - he actually made more senior appearances as a LB  than a RB at Porto. The team as a whole became sloppy around the 65th minute. It looked like the players ran out of steam and not for the first time. Overall, Dalot was much, much better than Young. Solskjaer should have swapped Young and Dalot's positions. In the system we play now, the RB is given much more attacking licence than our LB. Dalot is properly quick, dribbles well and is the best crosser out of all our fullbacks - he should have been given the attacking fullback role on the right while Young could have played more defensively on the left which he has done successfully before on many occasions. 

 

As for Jones, the guy is a calamity and should never be mentioned in the same breathe as Vidic. Vidic on one leg was twice the player Jones is on his best day. Just observe him during a game - he is very unsure of himself and regularly looks nervous when the ball gets near him. He also has one of the worst tackling techniques I've ever seen. Whenever he makes a tackle, there's at least a 50% chance that he ends up injuring himself and a number of injuries he has suffered came about as a result of his poor technique. 

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3 hours ago, Ser Glendon Fireball said:

Damn, our CB situation may be horrific for us to actually hope for a Smalling return.


Smalling gets a lot of stick but in fairness when he's fit he's a really fucking good defender. You just can't rely on him to be.

I always felt Jones was hard done-by but he's almost fallen into being the player he was always said to be. Like, he was always awkard but did make up for it with recoveries, but the more injuries he has the less he can rely on that and he becomes more of a liability. But I always felt he shouldn't have been a CB anyway. His movement was always that of a midfielder- part of the problem as he over-relies on his partner to cover- and I never thought he got enough of a chance in that position, though likely for us he'd not quite have been good enough anyway.

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Yeah, that challenge on Sterling was a stonewall penalty. 

Watching City games against sides in the bottom half hoping they’ll drop points isn’t a whole lot of fun.

ETA: And there’s the goal. Game over already I suspect.

Edited by ljkeane

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42 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

Smalling gets a lot of stick but in fairness when he's fit he's a really fucking good defender. You just can't rely on him to be.

Yeah, agree with this. Smalling is not top class but he is a solid defender and much better than Jones - his positioning, reading of the game, tackling, aerial ability and physicality are all better than what Jones offers. Smalling gets a lot of shit because he is poor at playing out from the back - this wasn't a big deal when we signed him but the game has since evolved to where that has become an essential trait needed in a CB. 

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23 minutes ago, Consigliere said:

Smalling gets a lot of shit because he is poor at playing out from the back - this wasn't a big deal when we signed him but the game has since evolved to where that has become an essential trait needed in a CB. 

I'd rather say that the guy fears more about playing the ball with his feet than he fears injuries and these sorta things. Like, I'm aware the game has evolved, but please. Even when he doesn't pass to De Gea (and it doesn't happen frequently), he manages to set his CB partner in mess by passing him the ball either on his weak foot, or slighty behind him. It's so frustrating to watch him play.

But yeah, he can be a real soldier on his day. And sometimes he scores.

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3 minutes ago, Ser Glendon Fireball said:

I'd rather say that the guy fears more about playing the ball with his feet than he fears injuries and these sorta things. Like, I'm aware the game has evolved, but please. Even when he doesn't pass to De Gea (and it doesn't happen frequently), he manages to set his CB partner in mess by passing him the ball either on his weak foot, or slighty behind him. It's so frustrating to watch him play.

But yeah, he can be a real soldier on his day. And sometimes he scores.

Smalling is still a better option than Jones though. Ideally we need to sign two quality CBs, another RB and LB and get rid of Jones, Rojo, Smalling, Valencia, Young and Darmian. Our entire transfer budget + player sales needs to be spent on the defence (knowing us though, we'd probably sign another left winger). We are now paying the price for not properly replacing the likes of Evra, Rio and Vidic despite having the resources to do so. Instead we were happy to persist with vastly inferior players. 

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This is the first time I've seen Chambers playing in the midfield this season. I like it.

Edited by Mexal

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3 hours ago, ljkeane said:

Yeah, that challenge on Sterling was a stonewall penalty. 

Watching City games against sides in the bottom half hoping they’ll drop points isn’t a whole lot of fun.

ETA: And there’s the goal. Game over already I suspect.

You were three for three there. 

Sane looks back to his most dangerous in recent months and the City blip didn’t last long. 

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